Patients in the emergency room often expressed concern that their wounds would leave scars, lingering evidence of their physical injury. As I closed their open wounds, patients often said to me, "Please do not leave a scar" — an impossible assignment since scarring is the natural process by wounds heal. It is not a matter of whether or not the wound will produce a scar, rather, whether or not the scar will be perceptible.

In order to make the scar as undetectable as possible, much effort is invested into the care of a laceration. The wound is cleaned meticulously so that nothing is left inside the wound to prevent healing, the size and kind of suture is chosen with careful consideration, and every precaution is taken to prevent infection

Similarly, the size of the scars resulting from social, emotional, and spiritual injuries depends on how we treat our wounds. The process of cleansing the wounds of life often requires repentance and forgiveness — difficult activities that require significant energy and effort. But without them, we become susceptible to the infections of the heart. Anger, envy and bitterness keep wounds open and lead to unsightly large scars.

Our journey as disciples of Jesus, takes us into places where wounds and injuries are not uncommon. Considering this, we should equip ourselves with a spiritual first aid kit, containing the tools needed to care for the emotional and spiritual injuries we will inevitably encounter. We need to bath our wounds in love and cleanse them with forgiveness. Healing will be enhanced as gentleness, patience, mercy, and grace are able to do their good work. Often this requires the help of skilled brothers or sisters in the faith and at times skilled professionals.

This week, let us attend with great care to the injuries and wounds that we have sustained in life and lessen the size of life's scars.

"I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. . . " (Ezekiel 36:24-25 NIV)

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:22 NIV)


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder